My town (Braidwood, New South Wales) is discussing the visibility of play.
Plans for a skate park are prompting personal conversations, exchanges in the letter pages of the Braidwood Times, and a Facebook page.
I think it is great we are discussing the centrality of children and their play in our community. These discussions are encouraging us to reflect on the town’s heritage status.
My thinking is that the importance of play in our community cannot be overstated. I am hopeful that, as we discuss the meeting of play and heritage, we can view heritage as a prospective way to engage young people in the meaningfulness of Braidwood as their home.
I am keen to see the skate park in the centre of our town’s recreational opportunities for young and old. I am mindful that many people are nervous about this.
I have been wondering how the decision we make about the skate park can include children and their needs. I do hear around my town that older people are custodians of the heritage for future generations. I think this is a great time for the future to be in the present.
As I was thinking about how we might have a non-zero sum outcome for our discussions, I received a link to this video:
I am hopeful we can agree that activity is important for young people. I trust that we can all recognise the cultural importance of play.
I do see a great opportunity to have a space for children in the town’s Ryrie Park. In this best of all worlds, I would like to see investment in the town’s swimming pool, the skate park and the playground. This would be a perfect, inclusive approach.
I am excited that all the energy created by the skate park proposals can be shared in a wider discussion about how Braidwood can welcome and champion play in a strategic way rather than as an opportunistic use of resources.
I think we can do this together as a community by valuing everyone’s voice … and perhaps offer our young people space for community leadership.
It would be wonderful to have a consensus in what is a most remarkable place to live.